Chery Automobile Co. maintained strong export growth in February, cushioning the company’s overall sales, which fell only half as much as the overall market during the month.
Industrywide, new light-vehicle deliveries in China plunged 82 percent to 224,000 last month as the coronavirus outbreak disrupted vehicle output and distribution.
Chery’s overall sales slipped 41 percent to 18,416, with exports surging 157 percent to 8,419.
In the first two months, China’s new light-vehicle market shrank 44 percent to 1.83 million.
Deliveries at Chery dropped 20 percent to 65,674, with exports jumping 40 percent to 17,376 during the two-month period.
Chery is the largest vehicle exporter among Chinese automakers. Its export markets are all emerging economies including Russia and countries in Latin America and North Africa.
The state-owned Chinese automaker also is seeking to export to mature markets. It expects to assemble crossovers in the United States with local company HAAH Automotive Holdings as soon as late 2021.
Chery, based in Wuhu of east China’s Anhui province, also operates a production joint venture with Jaguar Land Rover in Changshu of east China’s Jiangsu province.
In 2019, Chery sold some 745,000 new vehicles globally, a dip of 1 percent, with roughly 96,000 cars and light trucks exported.